College vs Courses: What’s Best For a Designer?

Unlike many different occupations that require having a relevant degree by default, most creative jobs (like that of a designer) don’t really require you to take a full college program. Landing such jobs without higher education is possible and even rather simple with a solid set of skills.

On the other hand, the fact that you may not have a degree to build a successful career does not mean that you don’t need any kind of training. After all, being a good designer requires certain knowledge and skills. So, unless you want to be self-taught, which may not be the right option for everyone, you’ll still want to ensure that you are getting at least some sort of education. And, luckily, you have a few options here.

Namely, if you want to become a designer, you can either go for a relevant degree or you can choose to get certified and acquire the necessary skills and knowledge through relevant courses. Which one to pick? Eventually, it all gets down to one’s personal preferences and needs, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind before making this decision.

In this article, we are going to tell you about the most vital pros and drawbacks of both options to help you see which one is best for future designers. Let’s dive in!

College vs Courses: The Drawbacks


Before we move on to the positive factors, let’s first take a quick look at the biggest downsides of both options that are important to consider.

Speaking of college education, there are three major cons:

  • Cost – This one is quite clear. When you are a student, you have to deal with lots of expenses, including tuition fees, accommodation, books, and many others.
  • Curriculum – Like it or not, when you use traditional learning opportunities, you don’t really get to choose what exactly you study. You may pick a major, but you will still have to deal with lots of additional subjects and topics that you might not be very interested in.
  • Academic tasks – As a student, you will be assigned plenty of tasks that take nearly 100% of your time and don’t always relate to your major. To give you an example, you will still have to write academic papers, even though the writing isn’t crucial for designers. Of course, you can always delegate your academic assignments to professional online essay writers  and get high grades with ease. Nevertheless, it can still cause quite a lot of stress to know how many tasks you need to take care of.
  • Time – Finally, another significant disadvantage is the fact that you will have to spend at least three to four years to get your diploma and start building a career, which can really feel like a total waste of time to some.
  • What about courses? Although it may generally seem like a much better option, it still has a number of drawbacks:
  • It’s less prestigious;
  • It doesn’t provide as many networking opportunities;
  • It may not meet the requirements of some employers.

Depending on your situation, there might be more drawbacks. But, in any case, these are the most significant points to keep in mind.

And, now, let’s move on to the benefits.

4 Reasons to Choose Courses

4 Reasons

First of all, it’s cheaper. We can’t deny the fact that colleges get very expensive these days. And, if you go for a course, even the most expensive option will most likely be cheaper than paying 3-4 years of tuition, accommodation, etc.

This fact alone can be a decisive point to many people, who just can’t afford higher education or those who don’t want to end up graduating with a huge debt.

Secondly, courses take less time to complete. Though the duration will vary depending on the specific option that you choose, as a rule, it will still be less than two years. That is, if you want to acquire a career fast, this is the perfect solution.

Thirdly, choosing this form of training gives you lots of freedom and flexibility in many terms. To give you a few examples, taking a course will enable you to study from anywhere in the world and, also, it will give you more freedom in terms of the curriculum, meaning you will be able to study what interests you the most.

Finally, it’s the best option for staying ahead of the competition. It’s not a secret that design is a very dynamic field that is constantly changing and different courses typically adapt to trends and other changes, whereas college programs stay unchanged for years. And, at the same time, it still gives you all the same basic knowledge and skills, just in a shorter time, so the perks are pretty clear.

3 Reasons to Choose College

3 Reasons

First and foremost, it gives you a diploma. Though times are changing and, today, holding a degree is no longer a strict requirement for landing a job, many employers still prefer hiring specialists who have at least some diploma (even if it’s not related to the specific career field). That is, by choosing this option you might get a competitive advantage.

The next big reason to choose this opportunity is that it might give you better perspectives. Though this is not always like that, in many cases, specialists with a diploma still get hired faster and even get paid more.

Thirdly, as we already mentioned, colleges give you more networking opportunities, which is also an advantage. Unlike if you are taking a course (especially an online one), when you attend a higher education facility, you meet lots of people, who might become valuable contacts in the future.

The Bottom Line

So, what’s best for a designer? After reading this article, you know that there are certain pros and cons in every option, which is why it’s impossible to distinguish the best choice that would work for everyone.

So, eventually, when choosing between taking a course or enrolling in a college, it is vital to consider your personal needs and wishes. So the choice is yours!

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